SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis –

28 Apr

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

introduction continued

I had the good fortune of discovering Costa Rica just before major changes were about to explode on the scene.  As I recorded my experiences I was painfully/excitedly aware of the fact that the Costa Rica I fell in love with was on the cusp of a major transition.  A transition from being an “emerging” country to a “developed” country.

I would not have the audacity to put a value judgment on the change.  Some say the past was better, some say the future will be better, and the judgments put on “today” run the gamut of expletives from good to bad.

I will leave it to you to choose your expletive.  For me I only know and accept that change is inevitable.  Things either change or they die.  That seems to be true for all organic life.  And not being very politically involved I must refrain from assuming that my wishes/desires/actions would influence change in a particular direction.  In fact I have met few people who know their ass from a hole in the ground politically.  It seems we only know in retrospect and even then it is “arguable”.

And I think now might be a good time to put in a disclaimer.  Just so you keep a realistic perspective as you read along.  Yes, I totally love my life here but it is not for everyone, as the “Realtors” might try to convince you.  I think the best summation I have heard of what it takes to make it here as a “gringo”, since us gringos want to keep our gringo lifestyle going is: if you’re going to settle in paradise here you need to bring two suitcases, one full of money, the other full of patience.

Suffice it to say you might get a hint at what I mean by “one full of money” and I will elucidate on that point.  However, the “one full of patience” will be as entertaining for you to read about as it was for me to write it!  But as for the “one full of money” you will soon discover that about the only things less expensive than in the U.S. are rice, beans, fruits, vegetables and low quality items imported from China.

Costa Rica does have some limited manufacturing of durable goods but the economy is not based on the export of those goods.  Therefore most of what you want of the quality that you expect must be imported.  There is a high import tax which makes those items cost substantially more than in the U.S.  For example a car… easily 50% more than in the U.S. and the same will be true for the annual registration fee.

Real estate may look like a bargain but be careful there too.  Use an attorney.  (But be careful there too!)

Are you thinking about shipping a lot of quality stuff here?  It’s six of one and a half dozen of the other on that idea.  Because once it’s here you’ll have it to enjoy but when you need to get it repaired… those model numbers do not exist here.  But the labor is less expensive than in the U.S. if you can find a way to get it fixed.


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